Between 30th May and 6th June 2015, Dyfed Archaeological
Trust (DAT) and the Malvern Archaeological Diving Unit/Nautical
Archaeological Society (MADU/NAS) will be undertaking further
investigations of an eroding wreck site on the bank of the
Afon Leri at Ynyslas.
The wreck is one of three in this area, which are
all of similar size and shape. They were probably locally
built and may have formed part of the Derwenlas slate carrying
fleet. It is probable that they were deliberately scuttled
in their present locations to mark the entrance to the Afon
Leri channel for other seafarers. They may have been scuttled
in around 1868 having become redundant after the coming of
the railway. The importance of the three wrecks was recognised
in 2012 when they were designated collectively as a Scheduled
The wreck site is suffering from erosion and was significantly
affected during the winter storms of 2013-2014. In 2014 a
series of test excavations, survey and recording was carried
out by DAT and MADU/NAS. The works determined the size of
the eroding wreck and after a bit of a false start, the bow
of the boat was located and the width of the wreck determined
through a measured probing exercise. Further survey and recording
work was also carried out on the other two wrecks establishing
that they are all of different sizes.
At the end of last year's work unexploded ordnance was identified
on the beach close to the wreck and a further suspicious
object removed from the wreck itself, both dealt with by
a controlled explosion by the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Team.
In advance of this year's work the team has been given ordnance
awareness training and we have discussed the site risks with
members of Qinetiq at Pendine (for which we are very grateful).
This season of work will not involve further excavation
of the wreck, but will aim to clean the remains to enable
a detailed record of the exposed timbers to be made. Further
detailed survey and drawn profiles of the wreck will also
be made. The aim is to have as detailed a record of the wreck
as possible prior to any further erosion of the site.
The work is being funded by Cadw and with the support of
Natural Resources Wales.
Click here to view the Ynyslas Hulk 2014 Dig Diary.